Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination

Survival in the first hours of the Cenozoic

Douglas S. Robertson, Malcolm C. McKenna, Owen B. Toon, Sylvia Hope and Jason A. Lillegraven
Survival in the first hours of the Cenozoic
Geological Society of America Bulletin (June 2004) 116 (5-6): 760-768


For several hours following the Chicxulub impact, the entire Earth was bathed with intense infrared radiation from ballistically reentering ejecta. The global heat pulse would have killed unsheltered organisms directly and ignited fires at places where adequate fuel was available. Sheltering underground, within natural cavities, or in water would have been a necessary but not always sufficient condition for survival. Survival through sheltering from an initial thermal pulse is not adequately considered in literature about Cretaceous-Tertiary nonmarine extinctions. We compare predicted intense, short-term, thermal effects with what is known about the fossil record of nonmarine vertebrates and suggest that paleontological evidence of survival is compatible with theoretical results from bolide physics.

ISSN: 0016-7606
EISSN: 1943-2674
Serial Title: Geological Society of America Bulletin
Serial Volume: 116
Serial Issue: 5-6
Title: Survival in the first hours of the Cenozoic
Affiliation: University of Colorado, Department of Geological Sciences, Boulder, CO, United States
Pages: 760-768
Published: 200406
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 77
Accession Number: 2004-054260
Categories: Stratigraphy
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: Includes appendix
Illustration Description: 3 tables
Secondary Affiliation: University of Wyoming, USA, United StatesCalifornia Academy of Sciences, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2019, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 200416
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal